And this is the story.
You’re a vegetarian from birth to present – you are healthy and stable and you’ve never questioned your eating habits. Ever since you were a child, you knew that meat was out there…but growing up it was all so simple (it seemed simple).
Everyone is a vegetarian. Unless they aren’t.
You have one friend who eats meat. He’s your best friend through middle school and high school. You never question his eating of meat – that is that. For you, eating meat just…isn’t even an option. It’s for meat-eaters.
People who eat meat are stared at in public places. People who eat meat are cast out. In some states, people who eat meat can’t get married. And you think – that seems horribly unfair. [But that is that.]
This is the way it goes. You are vegetarian. Your family is vegetarian. Your friends are vegetarian. Your school is vegetarian. Your town is vegetarian. Lord knows your state is vegetarian.
Meat-eatersdress differently. Act differently. Identify differently – locate differently. [So it seemed.]
In college you are a prime vegetarian, just like the rest of the school, minus a few low-key exceptions. As a sophomore you are introduced to the most passionate meat-eater you have ever seen. She is provocative. She is confident. She is fucking brilliant. Her confidence hints that there is more to life than vegetarianism. Time passes. Your ideas shift. As your ideas shift, your eyes shift. You begin to notice things that didn’t seem there to notice at all. All of a sudden, you see meat in a completely new light.
You begin to research all kinds of eating habits. Taboos and forbidden foods. It’s harmless, you tell yourself. It’s education. One day you are tempted.One day you are tempted by the juiciest steak you have ever seen in your life. From this point forward, you know that you’re in trouble. And by trouble, I mean deep shit.
Guess what? You decide that you have found too much evidence that proves that there is no possibility that you are a true vegetarian. Temptation leads to attempt. Attempt leads to some kind of subtle, complicated truth.
Turns out – meat tastes better than vegetables ever did.
And all of a sudden, you get it. People start to look at you differently. People start to ask your friends personal questions – “Does she eat meat now?” – “So…is she a meat-eater?”
People start shutting off when you try to talk about how awesome meat is. They don’t want to hear it – to them, eating meat isn’t and never will be an option. It’s in the Bible they say – Don’t eat meat. Don’t do it.
The truth is - vegetarians are cool. Meat-eaters are cool. Vegans are cool and vampires are cool. Everyone under the sun, regardless of their eating habits, is cool and fine and downright dandy.
It’s like being a vegetarian all your life – and then one day, eating meat. Out of nowhere. And enjoying it. The vegetarians don’t understand…but their day will come. [Or not.]